Three at Isom. Three at Vossbeck. Placing six portables on two separate Lynden School District campuses may seem straightforward enough, but the work to ready the grounds for the classroom additions adds to an already hectic summer of maintenance.
“Right now we are trying to make sure that it all gets finished up before school starts,” says Keith Shelly, facilities and maintenance supervisor for the district. “There is a lot to do.”
Some of the work on readying the grounds for the portables was previously accomplished, with past planning ensuring room for them on the grounds. Adding portables last year allowed for crews to pre-install some of the needed hookups. But the new structures still required ditches for electrical and plumbing—the earthwork was done by WRS—and concrete footings. Lynden Schools used K Engineering to handle the electrical engineering required to ensure proper flow to the buildings, Lightning Electric for the hookups and Vans Plumbing the water and sewer.
Constructed by Lynden’s Veritas, the new portables are a “natural extension” of the existing campuses. “At Isom, they had planned for this many years ago,” Shelly says. “Vossbeck planned for the future. When they put one in last year, they put in tunnels (for utilities). We were ready for it this year a lot better than last year.”
Ground preparation has occurred all summer, but the portable installation on the school grounds started at Vossbeck last week and moved to Isom this week. “We are running out of time,” Shelly says about the Aug. 31 start of school. “We have to get it done.” The project remains on schedule for completion in time for school to start.
Beyond the installation of six new portables and work starting at Fisher Elementary on the new school build, Shelly says every summer includes deep cleaning, stripping floors to reapply sealant and wax and refinishing the gym floors at the high school, middle school and Vossbeck.
The summer starts with deep cleaning of classroom floors and carpets and then moves to the gyms where a light sanding clears the way for the fresh finish.
Shelly, a one-year native of the district who spent over a decade working for the City of Lynden and before that was with the Meridian School District, says he is also making sure that classroom and exterior painting across all schools gets done where it needs it the most. “We are getting on a rotation and coming up with a plan to take care of all this stuff,” he says.
With five ever-growing, full-sized campuses, the summer provides a chance to take care of plenty. But the summer goes quick, with or without six new portables.
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